Are the words on your website a waste of time?

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So – you’ve got a website for your private practice. It looks lovely.
But does it do its job? Does it encourage potential clients to contact you?
It all depends on the quality of the text. No matter how well-designed your website may be, if you don’t get the words right, all that effort will be a waste of time.
Here’s what we’ve learned through working with a professional copywriter on our own practice website, Connect PP:
1. What do you want to achieve?
Before you begin, write down exactly what you wish to achieve through your website. Do you want to impart information? Do you want to demonstrate your expertise? Do you want to get clients to give you a call? Or all three?
2. Who is your practice website aimed at?
Think about your target market and why they need your service. What problems do they have that you’re able to solve?
3. Highlight the benefits of therapy
This is crucial. Getting someone to pick up that phone or send you an email depends on whether you have highlighted the benefits of therapy, not just the outcome. The key is to think about how therapy will make your clients’ lives better. So – you may offer a course of psychotherapy to help someone with a fear of driving. The outcome is that they will be able to drive. The benefit is that they will have the freedom to get a job anywhere they want, visit friends or family, or drive out to the countryside. When you talk about these sorts of benefits, you will capture peoples’ imagination – and it will make all the difference.
4. Use ‘you’, not ‘I’
Try to avoid writing only from the perspective of ‘I’ or ‘we’, for example ‘At Hypnotherapists R Us we are really good at hypnotherapy, and we love what we do’. This does not connect with the reader. Focus on your potential client and use the word ‘you’ – it really works. For instance… ‘Hypnotherapists R Us will help you reach your goals, whether it’s freeing yourself from anxiety or overcoming your phobia.’
5. Use headings, subheadings and short chunks of text
When a reader first lands on your homepage, they will scan it. You have five seconds – they will look at the headline first, followed by any subheadings, and will only read the text if you have captured their interest. Breaking up the text into short chunks, including bullet points, will help to keep their interest.
6. Don’t think that everything has to be grammatically correct
Copywriting needs to be simple and direct, however complex your subject. A conversational style is often the most effective.
7. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
They’re annoying. They put people off. Enough said.
8. Don’t forget your ‘call to action’
This is another extremely important point that you should never miss. A call to action encourages the reader to do something immediately, such as to telephone or email. Make sure you use a call to action on every single page of your website. Don’t think that simply putting your phone number in the top right hand corner is enough. Say, in the text, ‘Call us on ….. to find out more’, or something similar.
Just starting out?
If you haven’t yet decided whether you should even have a website, read our article about websites in the Private Practice Hub. It will get you started with domain names, hosting, and so on.
We hope these tips help you write the text for your own private practice. Do you have any queries, or other suggestions? We’d love to hear from you.